Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Sitting at perfection station and watching the trains go by

29 October, 2009

I can be a picky bugger. I like things to work exactly how I planned and I get more than a little peeved if they don’t. That’s the main reason I’ve not posted anything on this blog in over two months. As always life takes over and the blog gets neglected, that’s cool everyone’s blog gets neglected sometimes. The thing is once I decide that I want to write something I feel the I need to change the world with one blog post.

Inevitably I’ll write many many drafts, which funnily enough wont change the world, so I don’t post them. Then I start getting pissed off about not coming up with anything ‘good enough’ and before I know it, two months of work, conversations and learning have drifted past with no reflection or analysis.

The thing is in the last two months I’ve worked on some cool things, encountered some big challenges and are now spending lots of time thinking about what the next step is. Surely stopping a few times along the way to record where it was going would have been a good idea.

So there it is, “release early, release often” sound familiar? I’ll try to apply that mantra to my blog… maybe I’ll actually learn something.

UPDATE: In true realease early release often fashion… I hit the publish button before I proof read this! It must be fate 🙂

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Doh! I forgot…

11 February, 2009

Last week my blog turned 1! Yay!(but I forgot.. doh!)

It’s been a pretty awesome experience, I started out terrified of writing an idea or a thought down and sharing it with the world, I’ve always been a very confident public speaker but public writing kinda scared me. So much so that when I started my current job I told Helen that I had a blog but she had to promise not to tell anyone else that it existed!

I’ve sice gotten over that and my blog has evolved into a great place to take notes, throw around ideas, work through problems and engage in interesting conversations. In the past year I have managed 71 posts and people have been kind enough to add 126 comments – Thanks guys.

A very special thanks to these folks who have come back and commented throughout the year, your ideas and perspectives have made for a fantastic discussion.

Michael Axelsen

Andrew Mitchell

Helen Mitchell

Mary Abraham (Yep, Mary I am stealing your idea here!)

Janet Cleary (Janet actually was the first person to ever comment on my old Vox based blog)

Stuart French

Michelle Martin

Katheryn Greenhill

Looking forward to more idea throwing in 2009!

BTW: If you have not read any of these blogs check them out cause they’re all awesome! 🙂

One more thing: Don’t forget to give to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal or Give blood if you can.

A gem from my RSS reader

23 January, 2009

When sifting through my Web and Enterprise 2.0 folder I found this gem on Jermiah Owyang’s blog.  – To give credit where it is due here’s the credit as stated by Jermiah:

Thanks to Joey DeVilla for posting this, who learned of this from David Meerman Scott who was in contact with Capt. Faggard who’s involved with the Airforce’s social media team…

On to the Goodness! This flow chart outlines a process to respond to negative blog comments and I reckon it is awesome. one of the key messages I have been spreading around the office over the last 12 months or so is that negative comments are an opportunity rather than a problem. This flowchart illustrates that in a simple and easy to follow way.

air-force-blog-comment-assessment

If you receive a negative comment on your or your employer’s blog, don’t freak out!

Have a look at it, then have a think about it and then decide if you want to respond and if so, how you will. Taking these steps will help you and your brand look more professional and in control.

Trying something out

20 January, 2009

This is yet another short sharp post that is light on insight, I promise ill come up with something good soon!
The main purpose is to test a cool looking app I have found for the N85 (or any other S60 phone), it offers full writing and viewing of content for any wordpress blog.

This is actually my second attempt at it so I’m hoping it all works nicely. The version I used yesterday had a bug that stopped it from submitting a post, apparently it is fixed in this version… Fingers crossed!

One final note I really like the N85, it’s an awesome smart phone but I’ve got to take it back because of problems with call volume. From what I have read this is not uncommon, so if you’re thinking of getting one, hold off and keep your eyes on the net.

Update: It works! It’s called Wordmobi, check it out

A new look for a new year

20 January, 2009

I got really tired of the old theme so I have give the site a bit of a shine and have gone for a cleaner simpler look. I think it works. the old these had so many widgets that they were more distracting than helpful.

I’ve also updated the ME / CFS link with the logo and a link to ME/CFS Australia (Victoria), they have some good info about ME / CFS so it is worth stopping by and having a read of their site.

So what do you think? Does the new look work?

Digital Economy Future Directions blog

9 December, 2008

Digital Economy Future Directions blog that was launched today by Minister Lindsay Tanner and Senator Steven Conroy. No dobut there will be complaints in various corners about the blog only running for 18 days, that comments will probably take a while to appear and that it is that it is bloody difficult to find.

Personally I reckon it’s a step in the right direction, I work in an environment where things need to happen slowly so I can understand taking a baby steps approach. Here is what I posted on Minister Tanner’s Welcome.

This is a great initiative, I appreciate that while this is not cutting edge technology it is a step in the right direction. Social media offers governments the opportunity to engage with their constituents like never before. In the spirit of openness I have got 4 requests.

1. Please listen to every comment on this blog and make those comments visible to the public to encourage further debate.

2. Only filter comments that clearly breach the terms of use and guidelines set out in the moderation policy. (It can be tempting to block those you don’t like)

3. Please engage with the public. You and your staff will unlikely be able to respond to every comment, however try to respond to as many as you can.

4. If this experiment goes pear-shaped try again

This project provides a great opportunity to talk with the public, please make sure that you do.

Mick

Which Blog?

21 October, 2008

A colleague sent me an email yesterday asking:

I’m thinking of setting up my own blog, but I want it to be pretty good, so I’m happy to spend a bit of money if required.

What software would you recommend me to use? What features should I be looking for?

I thought my response might make for a interesting post. 🙂

They are all much of a muchness. If you don’t mind paying a few bucks a month, I would recommend WordPress. you can either use the free version (wordpress.com) which is what I use and what we use for the Congress and KM blogs or you can pay a hosting service to host a version of the downloadable wordpress for you.

I reckon the free version is ok, the main limitation is you can’t use Google analytics to track your site traffic (or embed any other widget that uses JavaScript), but the built in stats page is ok . You can add your own domain, which I am going to do at some point, so micktl.wordpress.com, will ultimately become micktleyden.com.

You can choose from a range of themes, many of which can be customised if you know what your doing (or know someone who does).

My advice would be to start out with a free one and see how you use it. Blogs take a LOT of effort to maintain, there might not be much point in paying for a you-beaut set up if you decide it isn’t for you after giving it a try. There’s nothing wrong with that I personally like blogging and twitter, but I don’t really like Facebook, so everyone has their own preferences.

If you do want a permanent presence it doesn’t matter much which platform you use. Most of your regular readers will subscribe to your blog via RSS and never see your site again. As long as the site is clean and easy to navigate (mine is way to messy at the moment!) it will work.

Regarding features, add an RSS feed from Feedburner.com it gives you pretty detailed tracking info and will allow users to subscribe via RSS or Email, Once you have got a few comments I would add a recent comments widget to the sidebar. It shows new users your blog is a happening place! I would also try and come up with a system for tags and categories before you start, mine are a MESS and not much help to anyone! One other feature I would look for is email in posting (that is write a post in email then send it to an address for publication) or mobile access. WordPress.com has a limited mobile version but it isn’t great and does not offer email in.

If you want it to be more than just a blog for example an online catalogue or CV, go with a hosted option as you can customise it a lot and make it look sexy. The two other main platforms are typepad.com, blogger.com. I would avoid Vox.com as you need to be a registered Vox user to comment.

What do you reckon? Am I off the mark?

Tricksy little spammers

16 October, 2008

Yesterday afternoon Ros came to me and said,

“You know that comment you wrote about this morning?”

I said “Yeh”

She said “Do you know it is word for word the same as the first line of the comment before it?”

I said “I did not”.

Turns out spammers are very clever and they tricked me! While they are crafty little blighters, they were not so clever that they tricked me into looking at their product, but tricky enough that I thought it was a real life crappy comment.

Akismet you are sposed to stop me from looking silly!

Practice makes perfect!

9 October, 2008

My train ride only takes 25 mins and I don’t get a lot of other time to read, also on many days the train is so crowded I can’t manage to get my book out of my backpack. (Did you hear that Connex!?!?!?!) Why am I saying this? I’m still working my way through Groundswell, I must admit it is a great read and I’m really enjoying it.

One of their tips for building a successful blog jumped out at me this morning:

Rehearse. Write five or ten posts before allowing them to go live….If you can’t write five practice posts, you’re not ready for the big leagues.

Having set up this blog and a couple of blogs for work in the last twelve months, I couldn’t agree more. The first few weeks are always awkward, rambling and well often generally rubbish.

Get them out of the way in private! 🙂

On blogs, comments and twittering

10 September, 2008

If you’ve looked at my sidebar in the last couple of months you may have noticed that I am ‘trying Twitter’. I’ve not posted on it yet as it has taken me a while to figure out if I like it and I think its useful. I’ve been twittering away for just over two months now and I think I’ve got it sussed.

First off I do like twitter, but I don’t love it! Here are the things I like:

Watching many conversations unfold in front of me and joining in if I have something to say.

As I have added more people to my follow list (I think I follow around 80 people at the moment), I can see the value in observing what is going on. While there is a lot of rubbish, it is easy to filter that out as I tend to skim the list, it is ever changing so anything that doesn’t capture your interest immediately is quickly gone from the page and forgotten. In watching the conversations unfold I have found a few useful links and come across a few people doing the same things as me, which has created opportunities to share and collaborate.

Keeping in touch with loose ties in my network

My follow list is made up of current work colleagues, people I have met once or twice through work, former colleagues and people I find through through blogs or twitter that I think might be interesting.

I really like that I can use it to keep up with what former colleagues, and various people I have met through work (but don’t work with) are up to, I’ve got many of them on my linked in profile, but I tend to only use that for contact details, twitter allows me to have a more active connection, which otherwise probably would not exist.

Following news

Over the last few weeks I have followed the launch of #iphone, #dnc08, #gustav and #rnc08 (for the uninitiated the # symbol denotes a tag applied to the tweet. Users include a #tag in a tweet when the tweet relates to a particular topic. These can be searched on using Twitter Search (formerly Summize), a hot one at the moment is #LHC – I’m going to be really peeved if I write this then the world gets sucked into a big black hole!) Watching each of these items unfold has been very interesting, with the iPhone it was all about where there was stock, which carriers were offering the best deals and how people were going getting it up and running. DNC and RNC resulted in a continuous flow of discussion questioning what the various candidates were saying, how the crowds were responding and in the case of RNC how the protests outside were unfolding.

Gustav was the most fascinating, I watched the search update and saw people supporting each other, providing advice, providing the latest information regarding traffic conditions, storm strength and evacuation points. A few different publications talked about twitter coming of age during the lead up to Gustav (I’m being lazy in not including a link… there are plenty out there), I could really see this. News organisations were using information coming from twitter to provide updates and in some cases were displaying #gustav tweets on screen during bulletins. It was a great example of how helpful a tool like twitter can actually be.

So where does that leave me?

As I said, I like twitter, but I am cutting back on my use. It is easy to get distracted by it, I am the type of person who needs to hit the off button to avoid distraction.

The bigger problem I have with twitter is I’ve found it has taken time away from this blog and commenting on other people’s blogs. I’d be happy with that if I felt twitter provided the same thing, but I feel like I am missing thinking through an issue in a greater depth. While twitter can allow for a conversation to unfold in real time, when using it I tend to only scratch the surface of an issue. I find blogging and commenting encourages me think through an issue in more detail than I do if chatting about it on twitter.

This is a really long post so I should stop it. The bottom line for me is, a little bit of twitter for the reasons I talked about is good and more blogging and commenting is required!

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